We had an airline voucher with American Airlines we've been sitting on for 2 years that expired the first week of January 2020. Not to leave "money" on the table, we decided to take advantage of the new direct flight from Columbia, SC to Miami, FL. We included it in our Take A Leap Travel trips, and invited others to join us. We had a blast bringing in the New Year on the Wharf, and exploring Miami and it's rich culture over a period of three days. Day #1 was shared in a previous post.
We'll now share Day #2
We had a relaxing morning to take in the full view of the golf course adjacent to the hotel. It was there that we decided to go on a guided tour for the first new day of the year. After taking a ride-share to Collins Ave and walking the streets, we came upon a special deal for a 2-day Hop-on Hop-off bus pass. This allowed us to take in a full view of Miami and Miami Beach over the course of two days. Just before we hopped on the bus, we went to The Licking: Fingalicking, a popular soul-food and hip-hop music playing restaurant, on the suggestion of our ride-share driver. It' didn't disappoint, and we had a bowl of spicy rice and seafood pictured below.
Once we were aboard the bus, we took to the top of the double decker in the open air. As the commentator shared with us the history of both Miami and Miami Beach, we were able to see the full view of Miami, 360 degrees. We went to Biscayne Bay, Wynwood, and Little Havana. Some of the sights to be seen from atop the bus were the AmericanAirlines Arena (Miami Heat), the mural walls in Wynwood, and the tricked-out cars in Little Havana. At Biscayne Bay and the Bayside Marketplace, we jumped on an hour and half tour of celebrity homes. We saw the homes of Sean Combs (Puff Daddy), Ricky Martin, Shaquille O'Neal, and LeBron James. The latter two areas, Wynwood and Little Havana, would be explored on the ground on Day #3.
Have you ever explored a city using a hop-on hop off bus?
Rhonda and Sharee
We had an airline voucher with American Airlines we've been sitting on for 2 years that expired the first week of January 2020. Not to leave "money" on the table, we decided to take advantage of the new direct flight from Columbia, SC to Miami, FL. We included it in our Take A Leap Travel trips, and invited others to join us. We had a blast bringing in the New Year on the Wharf, and exploring Miami and it's rich culture over a period of three days. We'll share each day's experience over the next few weeks.
We had an early morning flight, and used a Lyft to get us to the airport to save on parking. They were offering a special promotion, and we saved 75% off the fare. Great start to our exciting mid-week trip. The flight was barely an hour and half in the air, and we arrived in sunny Miarmi with a beach themed decorative decor at the airport. Everyone wanted to be outside, including the geico we met upon arrival at our hotel. LOL!!
After a brief rest in the hotel room, we got ready for the night's festivities. Nothing elaborate. We like to be comfortable. Rhonda dressed in a bright yellow-checkered dress, and Sharee in basic black and white. We decided to go to the Wharf to bring in the New Year near the water. Free admission before 10pm ($35 after 10PM), and food on our own. There were several food trucks to choose from, and we decided to go with fish and seafood.
We met a few people at our table. Mostly young working professionals from Miami looking for a safe and fun night-life, and not sitting at home. The music was Old-School R&B/Hip-Hop from the 90s. Our soul was happy, and we found ourselves getting "Jiggy with it" and singing along to our 90s icons along the likes of New Edition, Biggie Smalls, Will Smith, and Puff Daddy.
Just before the countdown began we opted for something sweet and split two donuts. One regular glazed, and the other pink cotton candy. During this time, a few boats came alongside the pier, and we all looked to the sky as the countdown began. 10, 9, 8, .....1. The fireworks over the city was spectacular, and the mood got more festive as we blew into our noisemakers and cheered in the early hours of January 1, 2020. We didn't stay long after the fireworks, as we've been up since 4am that morning. We needed to rest up for the next two days so that we could see all Miami had to offer. And it didn't disappoint!! Check back in the coming weeks as we share the next two days of our time in Miami.
How did you spend your New Year's Eve?
Rhonda and Sharee
Over the winter break, we came across two programs that are offering young adults a trip to the African continent at little to no costs. One is specifically for high school students and the other for youths and young adults.
Age 13-30 years old
Travel and Project-based Learning
Travel to a West African Country (Ghana, Senegal, etc)
It appears to be entirely paid for by donors and more than a dozen sponsors including HBO, Essence Magazine, and Blavity
Currently accepting applications
US Citizen w/ one parent of African Diaspora (African-American, African, Caribbean, Caribbean-American, etc)
High School 9th, 10th, 11th grader...minimum age of 15 and must not have graduated before the trip commences
Current trips are to Senegal in the Summer, but may expand to other African countries
Students only pay $500, and fees associated with obtaining a passport, immunizations, and malaria pills (although Senegal is not a malaria zone, it's for precaution)
Funded by The Tunstall Foundation
Application accepted until February 29, 2020
What do you think of what these organizations are doing for youths and young adults of African descent? If you met the criteria, would you participate?
Rhonda & Sharee Washington